Millions of voters in Florida will get no vote in choosing who represents them in the Florida House and Senate next year. That’s because the deadline for candidates expired at noon Friday with no challengers qualifying to run against a third of the state Legislature.
The lack of opposition means candidates for eight state Senate seats — all incumbent Republicans — and 38 House seats — all but one an incumbent — automatically won their seats despite no ballots being cast in those districts. That will make 2014 even less competitive than 2012, when 24 percent of lawmakers ran unopposed.
In Miami-Dade, Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah and Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, will return to the Senate because they had no challengers in their primary or general election. A dozen House lawmakers from South Florida are going back to Tallahassee without having to campaign. Among them: Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, Rep. Sharon Pritchett, D-Miami Gardens, Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston and Rep. Cynthia Stafford, DMiami.